The ABCs of Monograms

July 23, 2013

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Ardent appreciators of typography that we are, we can’t help but love a good monogram. But the advent of our new monogram collection got us wondering: how did the desire to let the world know one’s initials come to pass? Let’s look at the historical highlight reel.

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A is for Aristocrats¦ Aristocrats in ancient Europe adopted monograms, along with crests, tartans and symbols, to designate ownership of valuable property.

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B is for Belongings¦ Leave it to the Victorians to make monogramming an out-and-out craze. At first utilized so as not to lose one’s linens in the laundry, monograms eventually became an aesthetic flourish to add to personal belongings. Is it any surprise that it was during the Victorian period when Louis Vuitton began monogramming his firm’s leather goods?

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C is for Coins¦ The ancient Greeks and Romans first used monograms on their clay coins to identify the rulers and regions from which the currency came, creating a rudimentary organizational system.

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And Craftsmanship¦ In the middle ages, artisans’ use of monograms was down to earth: they marked their work with their personal symbol to denote craftsmanship.

Whether you opt for the traditional triothink a centered, grand-scale last initial flanked by first and middle initialsor just one large-and-in-charge letter, there’s no wrong way to monogram.

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